Set Negative Number to assign due dates backwards

Hi… we have a process for creating content where we need an overall due date set on the item, and then other column dates for different points in the process to be assigned a due date working backwards from the overall due date.

Ex: Blog is due to be published on xx/xx/xx
We need the formatting done 3 days before publish date
Graphics need to be done 5 days before publish date
Final copy done 7 days before publish date

I have found where I can have an automation that when one date is changed, it will adjust/set another date by that first date + the number in a number column. I can manually enter a negative number (-3) and when the Publish Date is changed, then another date will be set to Publish Date + Number = xx/xx/xx - 3 days

That is great - buuuuut I have multiple columns and I have to MANUALLY enter in the negative numbers for each new item I create!! The automation to set a number when a new item is created will only allow POSITIVE numbers :frowning:

Is there another workaround to get this working right? I’ve been looking and looking through the automations, but the Push Date only works going forward, not backwards!

Your help is appreciated!!!

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I’m not sure that this will work for you. But this is one way to do it:

  1. Set the default value of all your dates relative to each other. For example: Final Copy Date = 1/1/00, Graphics Date = 1/3/00, Formatting Date = 1/5/00, Blog Date = 1/8/00. (The actual dates won’t matter as long as they are the proper number of days apart.)
  2. Create an automation for each of the dependant date (this date) and Blog Date (this other date) using this recipe:
  3. After an item is created, set the Blog Date to the correct value.
  4. Just kidding. There is no step 4.

Thanks! I think that would work if we were using dependencies… but the team was struggling with that, so we’ve moved to a single item with many columns (as opposed to multiple items with dependencies) for our whole process. So, that would def work, just not for the way we have it set up, unfortunately


This automation is grouped under the dependencies. But it should not be. Dependent structures are not needed here. It applies to only one item at a time.

ohhhh… well maybe it will work then! I’ll check it out! TY!

Thanks! I was able to make that work.

I used a custom automation…

When a new item is created
Set publish date to today
Push publish date by 30 days
Set format date to day
Push format date by 25 days

Then I added the “Adjust this date to reflect…” for each of the columns I needed to adjust anytime the Publish date is changed to reflect the correct time.


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